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Using Aspect-Oriented Programming to Enforce Architecture

September 2007 Technical Note
Paulo Merson

This report illustrates how to use AOP (aspect-oriented programming) to ensure conformance to architectural design, proper use of design patterns and programming best practices, conformance to coding policies and naming conventions.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2007-TN-019

Abstract

Using aspect-oriented programming (AOP), software developers can define customized compile-time error or warning messages that are issued when the code contains join points that match specified pointcuts. These customized messages are generated by compile-time declarations, which are an extremely simple but powerful AOP mechanism. Declarations that look for nonvalid interactions between modules can be used for architecture enforcement. Coding policies, best practices, design patterns, and code-naming conventions can also be enforced. Compile-time declarations operate as an additional verification in the build process, but they do not affect the compiled application and can be turned on and off at any time. That feature makes this approach an automated and nondisruptive solution for architecture enforcement and a risk-free first step towards AOP adoption.